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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Wow is all I can say. Oh and Troy don't read this until after the last race is shown.

Road Racer X Article

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Between the Races: Mitch Hansen
By Jeff Feathers

During Mitch Hansen’s six-year tenure as the HMC Red Bull KTM Supermoto team owner, his riders have brought home two AMA Supermoto titles—the most recent coming just last year with Australian Troy Herfoss. But with economics dictating a KTM farewell to the American Supermoto racing next year, Mitch and HMC will likewise leave that series in favor of continuing to partner with KTM for the ’09 iteration of the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup… while dreaming of a potential, eventual move to American Superbike racing in the meantime.

RRX: First of all, congratulations on the 2008 XTRM AMA Supermoto Championship.
Thank you. This season started off back in ’07 when we had Troy Herfoss and a number of other riders, and we decided to clean house and start fresh with Troy. Kurt Nicoll and I started talking about a second rider—Chris Fillmore rode with me in 2003 and there just wasn’t room for him in ’04 so he ended up on Troy Lee’s team. To make a long story short, we thought Chris would make a good addition to the team. We didn’t realize how good of an addition he was, because our two riders really started working together and were on the same talent level. I think what happened is that the bike was virtually the same from ’07 to ’08, and so these guys just pushed themselves past the competition.

It was a dream team for me because they are two great kids—they’re both 21—and fortunately they worked really well together and shared their information. I have about eighty acres here in Wisconsin and on that land we have two race shops. One of them is for storage and one of them has living quarters up above it, and the two guys just stayed there. On this facility we have a motocross track and across the street we have woods for trail riding and all that, and they spent a lot of time doing that.

Do you think interest in Supermoto is dropping a bit in the U.S.?
To be honest with you, they’re having trouble with the world series as well over in Europe. The series that are doing well are the national series, because they are handled properly—I don’t think AMA Supermoto has been handled properly from the get go. I think Gavin Trippe is the right guy in the right place but he might be a little late. We’ve been involved in this from the beginning, and in ’03 it looked like it was the next best thing. It was going to be right up there with Supercross, and it just never got going. It was never handled properly and promoted properly and unfortunately we come to the end of this year and KTM is pulling out, so I’m not going to be involved in Supermoto next year. It is really unfortunate for KTM, myself, and honestly for Chris and Troy.

So what comes out of this for you and your team?
HMC also handles the technical side of things for the AMA U.S. Red Bull Rookies Cup, so we take care of all twenty-four RC125 GP bikes for the Red Bull riders. At the races we have fifteen mechanics and we’re going to be doing it again next year so that keeps us occupied. Our long-range goal was to develop both Chris and Troy, not only as top Supermoto guys, but also as road racers. We took them to a number of road races and they did well, so unfortunately that couldn’t carry on with our program because of the economic climate now. Troy has just signed a contract with Suzuki of Australia to be a factory road racer. Everybody is a little concerned about where things are going and I can’t say that I blame them. When you cut budgets, there’s no money for riders, there’s no money for parts; it’s just being careful.

What are your thoughts on the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup’s first season?
Actually it went really well. We were invited to over to Brno last year to check out the MotoGP Rookies Cup to see if we wanted to take that on here in the U.S., and being over there was such an overwhelming thing—two semis and twenty-five kids, fifteen mechanics and all of that kind of stuff. We discussed it and decided to go ahead with the program. Fortunately I’m working with people like Kevin Schwantz and the Red Bull people, guys like Kurt Nicoll and other KTM people, which has made it a lot easier. It’s been very successful, and I think we have the right team and the right crew of people working from all sides of things.

Do you ever see KTM throwing the RC8 into AMA Superbike racing?
It was really close to that. Up until last Sunday, it was a real possibility to be competing in the American Superbike class, which is basically a Superstock class that DMG has come up with. The RC8 would fit really well in there because they’re going to conform the rules to make sure a twin is competitive with the inline bikes. That’s one thing we were planning on doing, and if it didn’t happen in ’09 it was going to happen in 2010 using Chris and Troy. Unfortunately, the budgets won’t allow it.

Does a lot of what you’ll be doing involve letting the dust settle and then going forward?
I certainly hope so; I really want to be involved in the RC8 program and hopefully KTM feels the same way about HMC. I think—speaking for them a little bit here—that once things like economics start settling down and people see where DMG is going, we will be competing in that class.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 05:44 PM
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So that's it for the HMC supermoto team?
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 10:09 PM
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That really sucks, i hope some of the other teams dont pull out.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 02:43 PM
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While it sucks, I can't say that I am surprised. KTM pumped a whole lot of money into SM over the last 6 years and haven't gotten much return on it. I guess they have even pulled the contingency support, so Privateers won't be getting anything from them either.

Hopefully Graves Yamaha and Troy Lee Honda stick it out and maybe Husky will step back up their involvement under BMW's direction to keep the support going.

Of course, it's hard for anyone to commit to a series that has gone throough 4 series directors, 2 sanctioning bodies, and has never published a schedule before the New Year that even closely resembles what races are actually run through out the year all within it's first 6 years of existence!

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 02:47 PM
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I have to say that supermoto appears to be dying in the US. Its sad to see it happen, but now that there are economical issues to deal with as well as everything else, the writing was on the wall.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 02:57 PM
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post
I have to say that supermoto appears to be dying in the US.
at least at the pro level
hopefully the regional series can hang on and maybe even grow a little.

supercross is pretty much the only pro moto series that isn't hurting right now
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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I have a bad feeling that there will be no National Supermoto Champion crowned this coming year. The championship winning team will not even defend next year. I think that for our sport to survive it will have to die and rise up like the phoenix (again) starting at a grassroots level. Look how poorly the schedule was set up and run last year. I think this needs to happen.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 07:49 PM
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I disagree. There isn't anything to be gained by letting it die at this point. I'm disapointed that we are losing the factory KTM squad but support remains for SM. I point to flat track where privateers have kept the sport going for many years with recent growing popularity.

What SM needs more than anything else is to begin hosting the events during Superbike weekends. This would put alot of new eyeballs on the sport in person and pull off the electricity of the Superbike events. Let's face it, a stand alone SM national at Shawano can't compete with a SM national at Road America during the Superbike weekend.

At the Amateur level we need more team endurance races to bring the new riders into the fold. There are alot of former RRers that have the gear and I've hooked a few myself after letting them ride a SM bike for a couple sessions.

Just my 2-cents
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Superbiker98 View Post
I disagree. There isn't anything to be gained by letting it die at this point. I'm disapointed that we are losing the factory KTM squad but support remains for SM. I point to flat track where privateers have kept the sport going for many years with recent growing popularity.

What SM needs more than anything else is to begin hosting the events during Superbike weekends. This would put alot of new eyeballs on the sport in person and pull off the electricity of the Superbike events. Let's face it, a stand alone SM national at Shawano can't compete with a SM national at Road America during the Superbike weekend.

At the Amateur level we need more team endurance races to bring the new riders into the fold. There are alot of former RRers that have the gear and I've hooked a few myself after letting them ride a SM bike for a couple sessions.

Just my 2-cents
AMEN!!! i agree with MATT....
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 10:02 PM
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What SM needs more than anything else is to begin hosting the events during Superbike weekends. This would put alot of new eyeballs on the sport in person and pull off the electricity of the Superbike events. Let's face it, a stand alone SM national at Shawano can't compete with a SM national at Road America during the Superbike weekend.
True that. I went to the flat track nationals in Indy during the Moto GP weekend and could see and hear a lot of racers totally blown away by the number of visitors. Sport fans are spoiled and picky so especially now, with the economy slowing down, all kinds of motorsports should really stick together to keep the scene up.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Fine I hate all of you that disagree with me!


I agree with you Matt as far as the series being run with roadracing. Only problem is that the future of roadracing is kinda in question right now. I think if the AMA had continued to run it along with the Superbike races like they did the first year at Laguna Seca and Road America it would have helped the series. My feeling is that the series needs to die, or really like a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Where it gets new management and re-organization. I just think that the series has had a rough couple of years and a lot of the companies who would be willing to promote it are gone or not happy with the way it has been run.

I'm gonna do my part this year, I will go out and race (pending I can get weekend off)

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 02:25 PM
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I'm gonna do my part this year, I will go out and race (pending I can get weekend off)
I'm not going to race until I can lap tony at waterman so probably never.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 02:26 PM
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Im going out racing to do my part. Tough job, but someone's gotta do it!

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not going to race until I can lap tony at waterman so probably never.
Probably???? I don't think you or I could pass him if he was only riding a 50.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 06:23 PM
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Im going out racing to do my part. Tough job, but someone's gotta do it!
+1 on that one ROB!!!
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 08:46 PM
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Probably???? I don't think you or I could pass him if he was only riding a 50.
He could crash and his bike might not start!
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 02:58 AM
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hope to see you guys out there next yr for SBK2 just go out and friggin race its not that bad for 120 bucks or so, entry, gate, gas its the most fun you can have beside gettin a 20 yr old hottie and a hotel room for a night and gettin away from the wife

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hope to see you guys out there next yr for SBK2 just go out and friggin race its not that bad for 120 bucks or so, entry, gate, gas its the most fun you can have beside gettin a 20 yr old hottie and a hotel room for a night and gettin away from the wife
Racing is cheaper than all of the woman I've known (ok maybe not all ) but definitely all of those who I kept around.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 11:52 AM
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new? ideas

Supermoto racing will only become successful when they are willing to introduce some new excitement into the format - like racing in a large barrel against cars with sidecars that have man-eating lions sitting in them (see attached).
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File Type: jpg Lion.jpg (72.2 KB, 8 views)
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 12:01 PM
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Supermoto absolutely needs more lions.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Supermoto racing will only become successful when they are willing to introduce some new excitement into the format - like racing in a large barrel against cars with sidecars that have man-eating lions sitting in them (see attached).
As interesting as that sounds.

I really don't know what they can do to make Sumo more exciting. For Christs Sake, they race in cities, dirt and pavement with jumps on both, sliding bikes sideways and banging handlebars while racing. It not like they are racing Nascar.

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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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As interesting as that sounds.

I really don't know what they can do to make Sumo more exciting. For Christs Sake, they race in cities, dirt and pavement with jumps on both, sliding bikes sideways and banging handlebars while racing. It not like they are racing Nascar.
Yeah but Nascar has its own brand of bacon.
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As interesting as that sounds.

I really don't know what they can do to make Sumo more exciting. For Christs Sake, they race in cities, dirt and pavement with jumps on both, sliding bikes sideways and banging handlebars while racing. It not like they are racing Nascar.
Right? You can't please everyone. Even the spectators in that picture look bored at what they're seeing! But I agree, supermoto combines all the good stuff.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 01:38 PM
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the general non-riding public does not and will not ever understand supermoto. they'll never get road racing or flat track for that matter either.

supercross works because it's flashy, and you don't really need to understand the sport itself to be entertained. fireworks, laser-light shows, big air, and big crashes, all with a hint of racer vs racer personal drama thrown in to create storylines. basically for the majority of the audience that watches SX, supercross = nascar = pro wrestling.

we've seen what happens when that formula is applied to SM ---- X Games, which has sucked that last few years. lots of people getting hurt in the dirt section, and a boring single line "pavement" section, basically hardly any passing anywhere on the track. that's not what supermoto is about, is it?

maybe a televised "city" series would work, but assuredly there's not a line of sponsors at the door, and no solid leadership structure in place to go out and get a TV deal.

I'm not sure what the solution is. maybe the movers and shakers need to get on youtube and rewatch the original superbikers races. they managed to create some close racing that was also visually entertaining for the masses.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what the solution is. maybe the movers and shakers need to get on youtube and rewatch the original superbikers races. they managed to create some close racing that was also visually entertaining for the masses.
I think this would work, but only for a 1 off race just like the original Superbikers. Gavin Trippe didn't make Superbikers to be a regular racing series, it was only a 1 off made for TV event. I like the idea and it was great when AMA supermoto was first starting and there would be guests from other disciplines. I like what they did with the track layouts this past year. They were a lot more like European tracks with not such a SX dirt section. I think next year will either be a turning point in Supermoto either good or bad. I just hope its for the best!

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 10:34 AM
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i was talking to andrew hyder this week and he said graves is done factory yam is giving burhart & currie a budget hyder is quiting also,going dirt trackig.also the tenative schedule was alll races out west and colorado & utah

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 11:19 AM
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wow

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 12:30 PM
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At the Amateur level we need more team endurance races to bring the new riders into the fold. There are alot of former RRers that have the gear and I've hooked a few myself after letting them ride a SM bike for a couple sessions.
what? endurance SMs? umm IN!

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2013 Dodge Dart Rallye
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Somewhere else.
Posts: 6,365
Location: Somewhere else.
Sportbike: Resurrection Built YZ250F, Various European Junk
Years Riding: Yes
How you found us: SBN
           
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Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
what? endurance SMs? umm IN!
I could be talked into selling the sm wheels that I bought from Tony if you're interested.
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